Debashri Samanta, a graduate from NIFT Mumbai and awarded the Most Commercial Designer Award from Pantaloons Retail India Ltd, launched her eponymous label in 2013 having showcased at the Lakmé Fashion Week Gen Next SR13. Known as an all-handwoven clothing line, this label offers their own engineered handwoven luxurious prêt collections.
Debashri is a ‘weavaholic’. Not only does she work with Indian textiles, but also experiments with their fibres by engineering deconstructed versions of traditional weaves, such as Jamdani. The label epitomises workmanship, craft revival and ethical business practices. The brand is unique in its pursuit of studio-engineered fabrics bearing their signature (and often very cutting-edge) placement motifs, original in their intricacy and novelty.
Loved by women who can tightrope between the playful and deep – women who enjoy both caviar and the roadside chai.
House of Wandering Silk is a social business based in New Delhi, whose founding was based on the idea, so aptly put by Gandhi, that ‘there is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness’. They partner with a select group of cooperatives, women’s groups, NGOs and artisans to design, handcraft and bring to market beautiful, unique and sustainable products using vintage, upcycled and handloom textiles. All products and production processes are sustainable for the artisans who create them, sustainable for the communities in which the artisans live and sustainable for the environment.
AUTHENTICITY: authentic stories
RESPECT: respect for maker & planet
BEAUTY: unique products made from beautiful textiles
Ilk, by Shikha Grover and Vinita Adhikari, was born in 2011. Ilk, meaning clan, is rooted to the culture and tradition of its belonging. The label’s forte in handmade textures adds a novel, youthful and detailed aesthetic to the garments. Ilk designs contemporary fashion for women of global disposition. The label’s accolades include the Certificate of Excellence in Playful Textures at the Elle Class of 2014 awards and, most recently, the Grazia Young Fashion Award 2016 for Innovation in Textile/Construction/Silhouette.
Their unique ability to mix textures and drapes makes for a fabulous collection. Quirky prints and cuts add to the fun and energy, making each piece sit firmly on your wish list!
Karishma Shahani Khan, a Fashion Design & Technology graduate from London College of Fashion, UK, has worked on various projects and initiatives that focus on design, sustainability and education, including employment generation, women empowerment, skill development, garment production and retail.
Khan is the creative director of Ka-Sha, a fashion and textile-centric label based in Pune. The label focuses on design as a form of storytelling. Influenced by multi-layered cultures and ever-changing social landscapes, Ka-Sha endeavours to celebrate handcraft, in all its forms, adding to the individualistic expression of a product. Through a balance of localisation and globalisation, matching contrast with harmony and merging art with sustainability, the label aims to re-interpret materials based on current needs and functionality.
A finalist of the Vogue India Fashion Fund 2014, Khan was part of Forbes India’s 2016 ‘30 under 30’ list and is actively involved in the educational aspect of Fashion through associations with various Design Colleges in India.
She transforms an unsuspecting everyday textile into a modern, experimental garment that is a delight to wear. Completely out of the box, yet totally accessible. For those who dare to dream.
Hailed as the Queen of Kitsch by the Indian media, Nida Mahmood is a designer who dabbles in fashion, graphics, art, film, installation, interiors and so much more. She has collaborated with many prestigious Indian and international brands for a variety of projects, and include: Lady Gaga; Godrej Design Lab; Victoria & Albert Museum; Vivanta Taj; Absolut for art installations; Nike for a special range of apparel for the cricket world cup; Blenders Pride; Swarovski; NDTV Good Times; HCL; Adidas for a unique collaboration for AIFW SS16; conceptualised and designed the restaurant Junglee Billee; Moh Maya Money for art direction and costumes for the movie; Harley Davidson; Channel V for creating art installations; and Superbike World Championship for designing a line of high-end, limited-edition, designer jackets.
Nida is currently in collaboration with Satya Paul for a limited-edition collection.
With a focus on making handloom and khadi a mainstream household textile, as well as working on the sustainability of their craftsmen, this Queen of Kitsch is synonymous with the S9 Muses ethos.
This spunky label was launched in November 2013 and having landed smack-bang to our attention, we are thrilled to share it with you. A writer by profession and a love for art and fashion, Sneh Nihalani decided to spin some yarns by storytelling through her saris. Named after her love for radio, Sneh is the eponymous Radio Rani. “With Radio Rani, you drape a sari and unfold a story”. The collections range from mythology to moods, to characters to beliefs. Not limited to seasons; rather, stories are merely added to the collections to allow continuity. For women who like to stand out in clutter, who set their own norms and those who are experimental when it comes to life and, of course, fashion.
This quirky, kitschy brand is mirrored though the designer’s personality. A completely conceptual vision; you have to see it to believe it…and then fall in love with it.